NBR employees to work in weekly holidays to clear trade gridlock for its server fault

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Dhaka, Jan 22: The customs stations are working manually to clear export and import items instead of using the online system due to the server problem of the National Board of Revenue (NBR).

The NBR has decided to keep customs stations open in weekly holidays in the upcoming weeks as huge amount of goods were stuck in different customs stations for the past two days due to a glitch in the servers, creating suspicion among the people concerned over how the dream to fully digitalise Bangladesh within 2021 would be fulfilled with such lack of skill.

NBR Chairman Nojibur Rahman told reporters on Thursday that customs officials will work extra hours to clear the goods until the online system is restored.

Customs have been cross-examining data provided by exporters and importers in Letters of Credit to the commercial banks and Bangladesh Bank using the server and the duties had also been calculated using that.

An NBR official seeking anonymity said goods clearance have almost stopped in all customs stations since Tuesday and very little amounts have been cleared manually.

He also said an expert arrived from Australia to solve the technical problem on Thursday.

The Bangladesh Bank on Thursday ordered the banks to keep their branches related to the customs stations open on the weekly holidays of Friday and Saturday.

The central bank’s Department of Off-Site Supervision Deputy General Manager Md Ibrahim Bhuiyan told reporters that the order for the banks was issued following the NBR’s request.

Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association President Siddiqur Rahman told that garment entrepreneurs were also suffering for this.

“Most of our goods have been stuck for two days. Only one or two consignments are being cleared,” he said, adding that NBR has pointed to a technical glitch as the cause of the problem, but they are ‘working slowly’ to tackle the crisis.

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